Adelaide put one foot in final

Gamba Osaka and Urawa Red Diamonds shared the spoils in a tight, all-Japanese contest, but three goals will separate the remaining semi-finalists when they kick off their second leg in a fortnight's time following a one-sided encounter in South Australia. There, Adelaide United beat a heavily fancied Bunyodkor side 3-0 to put one foot in the AFC Champions League final. reflects on the two last four, first legs.

AFC Champions League semi-final, first legs
8 October, Wednesday
Adelaide United 3-0 Bunyodkor
Gamba Osaka 1-1 Urawa Red Diamonds

Game of the day
Adelaide United 3-0 Bunyodkor

All eyes may have been on Bunyodkor's Brazilian superstar Rivaldo, but it was the former FIFA World Player of the Year's lesser-known compatriot Cassio who stole the headlines. Spurred on by the vast majority of a 16,998 crowd, the former Flamengo wing-back set up the opener for Diego on 57 minutes, helped create the second for Fabian Barbiero 19 minutes later, and then won United a penalty in the closing moments. Cristiano duly sent Bunyodkor goalkeeper Pavel Bugalo the wrong way from the spot to give Aurelio Vidmar's side a three-goal cushion to take to Uzbekistan.

The other game
Gamba Osaka 1-1 Urawa Red Diamonds

In a predictably competitive affair, hosts Gamba Osaka needed an 81st-minute Yasuhito Endo penalty to cancel out Hajime Hosogai's first-half strike for Urawa Red Diamonds. Gamba took the initiative from the outset, but they found opposition goalkeeper Ryota Tsuzuki in fine form and were punished for their inability to beat him in the 22nd minute. Then, Hosogai unleashed a fierce drive from the edge of the area which flew into the net. Ryuji Bando had been guilty of spurning the home side's best opportunity, but he made amends by earning the penalty from which Endo equalised.

The numbers game
- The number of goals Adelaide United have conceded in their nine games in this year's competition. The Aussies' latest clean sheet was their fifth in as many home games.

What they said
"We're going to enjoy tonight's result but although we scored three goals against them here, they're very capable of scoring three against us over there. Therefore we have to be extremely careful, keep the lid on it and not get too carried away because this tie is not over," Aurelio Vidmar, Adelaide United coach.

Have your say
Which Japanese club will reach the final? Can Bunyodkor stage a comeback and deny Adelaide a place in the decider? Click 'Add a comment' to make your opinion known.